Excerpt from “Saman”

When I was nine I was not a virgin. People didn’t consider a girl who didn’t yet have breasts to be a virgin. But there was something I was keeping secret from my parents:

When they got wind of the fact that I was secretly meeting an ogre, my mother revealed a big secret: that I was actually made of porcelain. Statues, plates and cups made from porcelain come in hues of blue, light green, even brown. But they mustn’t be allowed to crack, because if they do they will be thrown on to the rubbish dump or used as tombstone ornaments. My mother said I would never crack as long as I kept my virginity. I was taken aback: how could I preserve something I didn’t yet have?
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Methodology

Quite a few people have asked me how I made my list, so I want to write a little bit about it (a task that took several months and which I found immensely enjoyable, possibly more so than actually reading the books). Fellow book geeks and lovers of lists, read on for a (probably overly detailed) insight into my process. Continue reading

Excerpt from “Max Havelaar”

I admit, I have not been here long. But I trust that the question asked one day will be what I did, and whether I did it well, not whether I did it in too short a time. To me, any time is too long when it is marked by extortion and oppression, and on me every second would weigh heavy which, owing to my negligence, my dereliction of duty, my ‘spirit of compromise,’ had been spent in misery by others.

Multatuli, Max Havelaar, or the Coffee
Auctions of a Dutch Trading Company